In 1818 Mr John Sumner moved into Bladon with his pony and cart and set up as an egg merchant. He attended the markets at Oxford and Witney and became very well known in the area. At that time the nearest Methodist Chapel was at Freeland and at 6am every Sunday morning John Sumner and his wife used to walk there for a class meeting, John carrying the baby and his wife carrying the lantern. However soon after moving to the village John Sumner would open up his small cottage on Sunday evenings for anyone who wanted to join him and his family to read from the bible and to sing a few hymns.
In the late 1830s John Sumer and his friends felt that the morning class meetings and evening services at the cottage were becoming somewhat crowded and they began to talk about a chapel. Despite the harsh economic climate at the time, they worked hard and collected money, the Duchess of Marlborough assisiting them with a generous donation of £2 2s. In 1843 a chapel, now known as 'the schoolroom', was built at the cost of one hundred and forty-four pounds, three shillings and 8 pence. At the time it had an earthen floor and it was not for many years that the seats were raised onto a wooden floor. On each side of the pulpit were two large family pews with one narrow pew immediately behind. The rest of the seating consisted of long benches with a single back rail. Gas and electric lighting were unknown at the time so candles and rushlights were the only means of artificial light. There was a primitively constructed chandelier hanging from the centre of the chapel containing brackets with sockets for candles and similiar brackets were attached to the walls. During the services the words of the hymns would be read out two lines at a time for the benefit of those who couldn't read or who couldn't afford the hymn books. The singing at all the services was led by Mr Davison Harris,the Sunday School superintendant, for there was no organ or musical instruments in the chapel.
When the chapel was built the Bladon Methodist Church had about 69 members. On census Sunday in 1851 the attendance at the morning service was recorded at 42 adults and 56 children while in the evening 94 adults and 30 children were present. In the late 1850s numbers fell, probably because of competition from the Primitive Methodists who started holding meetings in 1857. They built their own chapel where services were held until it closed in 1932.
In the 1860s attendance figures increased sharply and in 1866 a gallery was erected by Mr Bayliss, the village carpenter at a cost of £54 11s 7d. At this time the gallery was said to be a very convenient place for couples. It is not clear exactly what was being refered to! Even with the gallery the congregations became so crowded that in order to secure a seat at the evening service it was necessary to arrive a quarter of an hour in advance.
The lack of space became so acute that a meeting was called to consider the possibility of building an extention to the chapel. After much discussion Mr Joseph Adams who was chairing the meeting suggested that a new chapel should be built and he offered to donate a site next to the exisiting chapel and also £25 to the building fund. The meeting unanimously accepted his proposal and another £68 had been promised before the meeting broke up. Most of the subscribers were agricultural labourers who earned only ten to eleven shillings per week and their donations represented several weeks wages, a very great sacrifice on their part.
The new building was designed by Mr Ranger, a London architect and Mr Bartlett, a builder from Bloxham was contracted to do the construction work. On July 17th 1877 the foundation stones were laid and within three months the new building had been completed. It had cost just over £500. The opening service took place on thursday 30th October 1877 to a full congregation. This was followed by tea in the old chapel to which 200 people attended. Then at 6 o'clock the Reverend Alexander McAulay, ex-president of the Wesleyan conference led the evening service where, despite the bad weather that day, there were such large numbers of people that many couldn't fit in. An article in The Oxford Times described the new church as 'the best village place of worship in the Oxford circuit'. It added that the modern lean back seats were 'extremely comfortable' and the building was 'lofty and well ventilated'.
In 1904 a vestry and kitchen were added at a cost of £220. At the time they were described as 'very useful additions'.
The next major work on the building did not take place for another 70 years when, in 1977, the church was totally refurbished. This involved replacing the fixed wooden pews with comfortable movable seating and the entrance was given a new look by replacing the solid partitioning with glass. The building was also carpeted.
In 1986 it was necessary to re-floor the building. The opportunity was also taken to renovate the organ. The organ was originally a gift from the Grimmett family. Mr Grimmett was an early Bladon Methodist who emigrated to Canada. In 1912, many years later, his three sons returned to Bladon and were most disappointed with the condition of the organ. Together they donated £200 for a new one to be purchased.